VI. The Apprenticeship
The night was spent with further conversation, food, and sleep.
When morning came, the boy set out with promises to keep.
His friend called out a proverb, enigmatic in its way,
“Expected change will surely come when night turns into day,
“And though you think this tragedy as bad as it can get,
If you will hearken to me, you will come by comfort yet
To know the situation isn’t what it seems to be.
The Kraken can obscure, but never feed on, purity.”
As Galen walked back toward his home along the stony beach,
Though none appeared, he thought he heard a flock of eagles screech
A cry unbound by space and time, its timbre sharp and shrill,
Much like a trumpet’s battle call when sounded from a hill.
He turned to face the rising land, his back against the tide.
His winding path led through the hills and to his father’s side.
The good man chuckled at the news delivered by his son
That, of the trades he might have tried, he’d settled on this one.
Not knowing whether such a choice was by the boy’s device,
He said, “We’ll both give this a try, but start with this advice.
Though I don’t know the final goal on which your hopes are set,
Be durable and sure of hand. You’ll make a blacksmith yet.”
Comparing to his father’s build, his own was rather small,
But, owing to inheritance, he’d grow both broad and tall.
For seven years, he labored hard to learn his father’s trade,
And, with the passing of each one, the prophet’s words would fade.
By rambling thoughts of gallantry was Galen much amused.
About the daily sweat and toil he seemed much less enthused.
One day, while working at the forge, his father’s arms went slack.
He turned and spoke these solemn words while straightening his back,
“My son, you’ve grown and served me well. Regardless of your plan,
The time has come to make your way. Go forth. You are a man.”
He paid his wages, hugged his neck, but neither of them knew
That, once the son was gone, the father’s life would soon be through.
The end would come while Galen was constrained upon a ship,
Commissioned by mistaken choice, a nearly fatal slip.
With freedom gained and body strong, it’s typical that he
Forgot the prophet’s sayings of what he was meant to be.
A little truth can lead astray such youthful confidence.
He still retained his childish zeal but wanted common sense.
His pockets full of silver coins, away from home he turned,
From father’s trade and prophet’s way, from skills and lessons learned.